Wednesday, October 12, 2005
where i come from - part two
Saturday was the day of the real reunion party. I stayed up on Friday looking at names and faces in the yearbooks. I was glad to have them. Its funny how people turned out...you look at their 6th grade photo and you could never imagine who they would become. Apparently we all look pretty awkward and funny growing up -- didn't you always imagine that you were the outcast? I've got news for you: we all were outcasts in one way or another. Seeing how some people have overcome, some have matured, and some have softened was medicinal for me.
I spent most of the day Saturday letting the kids play with their cousins. (Dave and my brother-in-law escaped to a mountainous golf course in Tennessee.) My parents live in the country -- Try growing up on 300 acres of c-o-u-n-t-r-y -- just outside the city limits of my hometown. My kids love going there. It's a peaceful place. They can run, yell, and get dirty at will and they spend hours doing just that. Green space all around them as they play. My parents had to bring in friends for playdates (Did anyone use the term playdate in 1976???), but the little cousin set created by the two sisters who grew up here seem to thrive on each other. It's pretty loud, but fun. I hope they grow into great friends one day. My Mom and Dad love to let the kids gravitate toward them on these visits. At one point my parents had William in their bed, Jordan and Drake on the floor. I opened the door and laughed at the sea of bodies.
Later in the afternoon, I began to groom myself. By the time that Dave and I got ready we looked like a presentable couple. It was a bit hard to know what to wear to the Old Coke Factory, but from the looks of things we did fine. The classmate who owned the building now had probably killed himself getting it ready for the night. Everything looked great. We had a beautifully catered meal by a local restaurant which normally prepares the best barbeque in town. They often do catered meals minus the barbeque which rival some top restaurants. It's funny though, the food really did not matter since we hopped back into catching up with one another. It was a great night.
The funniest thing was seeing those boys who were such funny and immature pests in high school turn out to be great men. I kept thinking things like, "Wow, he's mature enough to run X?" or "Your wife is just a lovely person and you seem like a decent human being now...even though you tortured me in Physics class." 20 years makes a big difference. It doesn't matter who was a cheerleader (Not me!) or nerd now. What matters is that we've all survived a bit of life.
One of the most disappointing things was that many people went on Friday night, but did not attend on Saturday night. I'm sure the cost or babysitting kept many from it...still, I would have enjoyed seeing more or had more time with people I saw Friday night. I'm glad I went both nights. There were some of my best friends missing...and I'm hoping to reconnect with them soon. This reunion did fuel a fire in me concerning special friendships. When we all went to college it seemed like our lives shifted focus. High school remained locked in our memories...and for most of us college was better than high school so most of those friendships remained in that time warp also.
One of the best things about Friday and Saturday night was seeing my best friend Becky. We've been friends since kindergarten. I was wonderful to still feel that warmth and respect for each other. We kept trying to fill one another in on important moments in our lives -- births (we both have three children - one boy, two girls), jobs, and how we fell in love with our respective husbands. We both made an honest effort to get around to everyone, but by the time she left to travel it was obvious that we still had a special bond.
Dave was an awesome date for the whole weekend. He patiently waited while I caught up with each person and seemed to enjoy getting to know 'where I come from'. Though we've been married 15 years, this is the first time for him to meet many of my schoolmates. He was amazed at the bond between everyone. Basically, our class was together for 12 years...some of us for 13...and that may be one of the traits of a small town raising. We have so much history together. And more in common than I could ever imagine.
I left on Sunday satisfied. I was glad I had attended. Happy to be me.
Note to self: take more photos at the 30 year reunion.